The Sisters of Saint Joseph are delighted to announce that Pauline Morgan rsj has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in the King’s Birthday 2024 Honours List for service to the Catholic Church of Australia, and to education. Based in Adelaide, Sr Pauline (pictured right) worked as a maths and science teacher and later as student counsellor at Mary MacKillop College Kensington, then as Principal of Caritas College at Port Augusta and at St Michael’s College Henley Beach. 

“I loved being a teacher – seeing students’ faces light up when they understood what seemed to them to be a difficult concept or successfully working out their own strategies for problem solving,” says Sr Pauline.” I particularly enjoyed encouraging girls to excel at maths and science – especially in the 1960s and 1970s when this was not a common occurrence.” 

Years of part time study in psychology resulted in Sr Pauline gaining a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology (M.Psych 1991) from Flinders University. Soon Sr Pauline’s main ministry was in various aspects of counselling and psychology. 

Ministries included being a psychology consultant with the Catholic Education Office in South Australia; working in private practice in a community centre; presenting workshops and seminars to school groups; facilitating Assemblies and Chapters for Religious Congregations; working with like-minded colleagues to assist people in need and particularly survivors of physical, emotional and sexual abuse.  

In 1995, Sr Pauline was awarded a scholarship to study at Loyola University in Chicago and here she gained a PhD in Social Psychology. When Pauline returned to South Australia she was invited to be the inaugural Director and part of a team to set up a new Diploma and Degree Course in Counselling.   

“The course was designed particularly for adults with the life experience and desire to gain professional qualifications to help others,” says Sr Pauline. “This was one of my greatest joys. During these years I was also a contract teacher at the University of Adelaide and continued my work with groups and individuals.  

“I was very surprised to be nominated for an OAM. However, the delight of my fellow Sisters, family and friends, and old scholars has been very moving. I feel that we all do the best we can in the circumstances we find ourselves. I am inspired every day by the words of Mary MacKillop to “relieve suffering and bring hope”. 

In 2008 Pauline was called to Leadership positions within the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph first in Western Australia and then in Ireland. Sr Pauline has been chair of Congregational Committees, a board member of Congregational ministries and always ready to be called upon to assist in various ways.  

Today, Sr Pauline has entered her 81st year and in January 2024 she celebrated her Diamond Jubilee (60 years professed). She is currently the community leader at the convent in Kensington, South Australia. 

To access the King’s Birthday 2024 Honours List click here.